BIA firm to sell investment funds

National 1 minute, 50 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

BRUNEIANS now have more choices of investment products to purchase with the launch of an investment company established by the Brunei Investment Agency (BIA).

BIA yesterday launched BICB Capital, Brunei's first investment company that will offer open-ended Syariah-compliant investment opportunities. Open-ended investments are formed by pooling together investors' money which is then invested, giving way for the creation of shares.

The new financial institution aims to cater to investment needs of Bruneians who prefer to put their savings in capital instruments that are in line with the teachings of Islam.

"At the moment we do not see many Syariah-compliant open-ended investment opportunities, we are the only company at the moment offering this type of investment services," sales support manager Ida Nazeera Bujang said in an interview.

She explained that though open-ended investments do not provide capital security, it has unlimited potential returns. Bruneians prefer investments which are safe and capital protected, she noted.

"Safe investments include savings account and fixed deposits, (but) people need to realise that they need to take more risks in order to gain higher potential returns," she said.

BICB Capital's target market include individuals and corporate investors. Ida Nazeera said that more and more younger Bruneians are opening up to the idea of investing.

"BICB Capital company plans to meet the needs with customer objectives, we would try to formulate solutions which closely match customer profile," she said. The investment services of BIA's wholly owned subsidiary include education, retirement and wealth, all financial planning tools for the future.

The level of competition in Islamic financial services is "heating up" and customers demand a wider range of choices.

BICB Capital was formed in response to His Majesty the Sultan's Titah to encourage personal savings through financial planning means.

During the soft launch officiated by Dr Mohd Amin Liew Abdullah, managing director of BIA and chairman of BICB, he said that new firm will help increase the variety of investment products in the market.

"What BICB is trying to do is intensifying these efforts to support the initiative of the Ministry of Finance to encourage the public to have financial plans."

The Brunei Times